Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Iran Tells UN It Will Boost Capacity for Uranium Enrichment

UN force on the Israeli Syrian border June 2018 UN force on the Israeli Syrian border June 2018 Baz Ratner
Lisa Bryan | 06 June, 2018, 01:56

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Iran is to tell the United Nations it will begin increasing its uranium enrichment capacity in case the multinational nuclear deal-severely weakened by the USA withdrawal last month-collapses.

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation will hand a letter to the United Nations nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna informing the agency of the decision regarding uranium hexafluoride.

The memorandum is signed on behalf of the Iranian army by Amir Daryaban Ali Shamkami, who now serves as secretary of Iran's national security council and a top military adviser to Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to the report.

"I didn't ask President Macron to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran because I think it is going to collapse anyway soon under pressure from U.S. sanctions", he said at a joint press conference with Macron after a closed-door meeting between the two leaders.

He called the accord (which saw Iran curbing its nuclear military program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide sanctions) deeply flawed and wanted a deal that would both limit Tehran's ballistic missile program and its increasing influence in regional affairs.

Since then, Khamenei and other Iranian officials have been on the attack, threatening to increase uranium enrichment.

Katz went on to assert that Israel would never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, claiming Tehran only had "two options". Iran has repeatedly denied seeking a nuclear weapon from enrichment.

Aside from its concerns over Iran's nuclear program, Israel has also sounded the alarm on what it says is Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, where Iran is helping the Syrian regime to end an insurgency in its eighth year.


Merkel has acknowledged that while European powers see the JCPOA as the best guarantee against an Iran with nuclear weapons, it is "not perfect".

The Israeli minister's comments come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embarked on a tour of Europe to persuade European leaders to follow the USA and ditch the Iran deal. "Yesterday he explained how he would do it - with an unlimited enrichment of uranium to produce an arsenal of nuclear bombs".

Netanyahu will meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday and British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday. In addition to the nuclear deal, the prime minister also raised the subject of pushing Iranian forces out of Syria.

France's PSA, which manufactures Peugeot and Citroen cars, on Monday became the latest to announce its plans to pull out of Iran, where it sold almost 445,000 cars past year.

"The aim to prevent Iran from developing any kind of nuclear capacity was always the foundation of worldwide policy on Iran", Israel's ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, told AFP ahead of the visit.

Katz noted that many global companies from France, England, Germany, Russia and other countries have already announced their intention to suspend their activity in Iran "because they don't want to be subject to the American sanctions".

The US has warned European companies to stop doing business in Iran or face the threat of breaching new and tougher sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The two leaders also discussed the Israelo-palestinian conflict with Macron once again condemning Donald Trump's decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem and the deaths of at least 58 Palestinians in mid-May.

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